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A former ByteDance executive claims that Tiktok is a "propaganda tool of the Chinese Communist Party".

Yintao Yu also accused the company of copying content from other platforms and creating fake users to increase its popularity.

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Yintao Yu, a former ByteDance executive, sued the company that owns the social network TikTok in California Supreme Court on Friday. Although the charge was for wrongful dismissal, the most revealing part of the document has been several comments about the company's connections to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its anti-competitive practices.

Yu's accusation brings more arguments to the national and international voices advocating the blocking of the Chinese-origin platform. The Federal Government, certain states and several countries, such as Canada and members of the European Union, have already been taking measures against the application, citing security concerns.

Who is Yintao Yu?

The plaintiff worked at for ByteDance between August 2017 and November 2018. According to Yu, the negotiations agreed to a two-year contract and included the purchase of the intellectual property of Tank Exchange, Yu's own venture.

Yu sued the company in early May of this year, after a long and unsuccessful mediation for losing his position as chief engineer. According to his testimony, he was fired for opposing the theft of competitors' intellectual property.

The former tech employee also previously claimed that he was fired for defending a colleague suffering from depression. According to Yu, a manager purposely worsened the performance report of a worker who had requested time off to treat her medical condition.

(The manager) admitted that she had made the change because she did not like Witness A taking time off work to deal with her depression and that she saw her as a "burden" that she "wanted to get rid of." He told him (Yu) that, due to Witness A's health condition, her "maintenance cost was too high."

Yu complained to other company officials and the employee was not fired. The manager's boss, however, would have later become Yu's own superior. She, according to the plaintiff, had seen his intervention as a challenge to her authority and leadership.

Yu himself was later placed on medical leave. After nearly four months of absence, he tried to return to the office, but was informed that he should not return for the time being. A month later, he was permanently disengaged.

Unfair competition

"Shortly after starting work, Mr. Yu realized that ByteDance had for years promoted a global scheme to steal and profit from the copyrighted works ofothers," reads a text filed with the court earlier this month.

This "global plan" includes stealing intellectual property from competitors, most notably Instagram and Snapchat. TikTok allegedly copied content from other networks and uploaded it to its own platform, "in an effort to make its services appear more popular in front of users."

All this, without the knowledge of competitors or content creators. Moreover, with the same goal of artificially increasing interaction on its platforms, ByteDance would have "systematically" created fake users.

The Committee

At the ByteDance headquarters in Beijing, there was a group of Communist Party delegates. Called "the committee," it was charged with overseeing the company's applications-including TikTok. He also monitored the company's promotion of communist values, and would even have had the power to completely shut down all of its services.

The former executive claims in the lawsuit that the committee had access to all ByteDance data , including that stored in the United States.

These claims, if true and current, contradict the testimony of TikTok's CEO before the House of Representatives. Shou Zi Chew assured in March that U.S. users' data was protected, although the company pledged to continue improving its security systems. He also asserted that the parent company was not taking any actions that put the privacy of Americans at risk:

ByteDance is not an agent for China or any other country. However, for the reasons stated above, you need not simply take my word for it. Rather, our approach has been to work transparently and cooperatively with the U.S. government. and Oracle to design robust solutions to address TikTok's equity concerns.

In an interview with the New York Times last Friday, Yu explained that the social network's current efforts to appease U.S. lawmakers' concerns are nothing more than empty gestures. TikTok's "Project Texas," which seeks to host American tiktoker data on servers in the United States, does not prevent Chinese engineers from accessing these users' information, according to Yu.

But that's not all. According to the former employee's lawsuit, ByteDance also allegedly paid bribes to Chinese officials. Specifically, the founder of the technology company allegedly bribed the official in charge of Internet regulation in China, Lu Wei.

Yu even went so far as to claim that TikTok was, plain and simple, a"propaganda tool of the Chinese Communist Party."